If Ebola Was in the UK We’d Cure It, Says Leading Doctor

Laurence Dodds, Telegraph (London), August 4, 2014

The international community has failed to deal with the deadly Ebola virus because it mainly kills poor Africans, Britain’s top public health doctor has claimed.

Dr John Ashton, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, compared the situation to the early years of the AIDS epidemic and attacked the “moral bankruptcy” of a system which gives drug companies no reason to invest in treatments for “powerless minority groups”.

Writing in the Independent on Sunday, he said: “We must respond to this emergency as if it was in Kensington, Chelsea, and Westminster. And we must ‘get real’ over economic development.

“We must also tackle the scandal of the unwillingness of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in research to produce treatments and vaccines, something they refuse to do because the numbers involved are, in their terms, so small and don’t justify the investment.

“This is the moral bankruptcy of capitalism acting in the absence of an ethical and social framework.”

He said the international community needed to be “shamed into real commitment” to address the “poverty and environmental squalor” in which epidemics can thrive.

On Friday officials from the World Health Organisation said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was “moving faster than our efforts to control it” and would be “catastrophic” if it continued to get worse.

The disease, which has a fatality rate of 90 per cent without proper treatment and has no cure, has already claimed more than 700 lives across Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in what is now the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

As if to underline Dr Ashton’s words, two US aid workers infected in the region have been flown back for specialist treatment in the States, even as locals suffer from a lack of clean water and adequate health facilities.

But while his comments are perhaps the strongest intervention on the topic so far by a medical professional in the stalled Ebola market, they are by no means the first.

Last week Dr Daniel Bausch, an Ebola specialist at Tulane University in New Orleans, told the US website Vox that there had been “significant developments” in fighting the disease but that “economics” stood in the way.

He said: “These outbreaks affect the poorest communities on the planet. Although they do create incredible upheaval, they are relatively rare events. So if you look at the interest of pharmaceutical companies, there is not huge enthusiasm.”

He added that research in the US was “almost exclusively” funded by the government and driven by fears that terrorists might use the disease against first world citizens.

A viral vaccine effective in macaque monkeys has existed since 2005, but money has not been available to test it on humans, according to Heinz Feldman of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

In 2009, it was used on a German lab technician who had accidentally pricked herself with an Ebola-infected needle, but there is no way to tell whether the vaccine was what saved her, or even if she was infected in the first place.

Another project, using $140m from the Department of Defence, shows promise, but has only now reached human testing after a brief funding limbo in 2012. Scientists at the time lamented that a commercial vaccine was “unlikely”.

Inequality is not the only reason for a weak market in Ebola vaccines, as the disease only afflicts a relatively small number of people worldwide. The WHO lists only 1,590 known Ebola deaths since it was discovered, whereas measles killed 122,000 in 2012.

Serious outbreaks are comparatively rare, and its extreme fatality actually limits its ability to spread because its victims die before they can infect too many others.

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  • dd121

    Why don’t the Africans put one of their Nobel Prize winning doctors to work on the solution?

    • gemjunior

      Yes, why not exactly? Is this racist suggesting that Africans are dependent on Western ingenuity to help them battle deadly organisms that would never have seen the light of day if they weren’t eating bushmeat and other insane cuisines, even one another when the mood takes them? Could he possibly imagine that his own intellect has a greater capacity than any of their own people – my God, my GOD – the privilege. Check his privilege – someone – check his white privilege.

    • Bobbala

      They are all Peace Prize winners. LOL

    • Cid Campeador

      Here go the self hating Whites making a racial issue out of everything.
      If the Ebola were to have originated in the West of course we would be working on it. The Africans should be grateful that we take the risks to fight the diseases that decimate them

  • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

    I am committed to net eating bats and monkeys.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Some orc you are!

      • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

        I am the variety that eats raw fish.

        • WR_the_realist

          It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a good sushi bar, although that’s probably good for my bank account.

    • dd121

      There are a lot of ocean fish, that if not previously frozen to kill the parasites, can infect humans. Some are pretty nasty.

      • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

        Most of those are like salmon, which spend some of their lives in fresh or brackish water, and acquire parasites there. The other thing to remember is that the higher up the food chain one goes, the greater the parasite load. I thus don’t eat raw tuna, and never any apex-predator reef fish like barracuda or moray eel, cooked or otherwise. Plankton toxins like ciguera get concentrated in reef fish, especially after any sort of storm or dredging, but barracuda and moray are always essentially inedible, cooked or otherwise.

        Anything out of a lake or river has to be cooked, as amoebic infection is ugly indeed.

  • JackKrak

    No doubt he’s right – we would cure it, just as we did with polio.

    And then, just as with polio, it would reappear here and there in the back-a**wards parts of the world because they’re too stupid to keep the door closed on it.

  • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

    Serious outbreaks are comparatively rare, and its extreme fatality actually limits its ability to spread because its victims die before they can infect too many others.

    And that’s why there’s no rush to develop a vaccine.

  • TruthBeTold

    Hey, here’s an idea. Why doesn’t an African come up with a cure?

    • Bobbala

      They cured AIDS — unprotected sex with prepubescent virgin girls.

      • Augustus3709

        Don’t forget sacrificing albinos.

  • Lewis33

    I wish he was right and that WAS the real reason.

  • MekongDelta69

    What’s that sound I’m hearing? I know it’s familiar. I’ve heard it a thousand times before. It’s so familiar.
    .
    Oh wait, I know…
    .
    Extreme leftist groveling

  • IstvanIN

    locals suffer from a lack of clean water and adequate health facilities. Whose fault is that? The British public’s?

    This is the moral bankruptcy of capitalism The moral bankruptcy of capitalism is the pressure on governments to continuously import third world savages for economic purposes to displace the native populations of the UK, US, Canada, France etc.

    Get off your rocking horse Dr. Ashton.

    • Pro_Whitey

      I prefer the term “market system” to “capitalism” because the latter in my opinion gives too much credibility to Marx’s completely untrue theory. That, and I also like to distinguish the market system from the monetary system, which I find to be far more sketchy. It’s the market system that has given us the relative leisure even to attempt to come up with a vaccine. This did not come from Cuba, or North Korea, or even China, which is really national socialist at this point. So I give Ashton a hearty STFU, and by no means want to confuse him with the Ashton who provides us commentary from the U.K.

  • journey

    “The WHO lists only 1,590 known Ebola deaths since it was discovered” More likely due to eating bats and no hygiene (no sanitation systems and flushing toilets). In other words, Ebola is not a big problem except for the ignorance of blacks. But the rest of the world must be seen as cold and racist = delusional. And, it does take money and talent to come up with a vaccine for a condition that’s not much of a threat. Ebola is not AIDs, far from it.

    Dr John Ashton = self righteous fool.

    • Michael Whalen

      Actually, there is an upside to the Ebola scare…. It is diverting money and effort from AIDS research.

    • LHathaway

      Which is it, it’s only a problem among ignorant Africans, or we should prevent them from immigrating to the West in order to safeguard ourselves from these diseases?

      • journey

        Both.

        • LHathaway

          lol, I knew ‘both’ would be the answer before I even finished typing in the question. One can never be too careful, or conservative?

          • journey

            Because “both” make sense and why even bother to ask? And in your brain, what does “conservative” mean?

          • LHathaway

            I meant it to mean cautious and careful.

            lol, because I knew someone would respond by saying ‘both’, I shouldn’t have made the comment? Maybe I just like hearing myself talk.

  • serious123

    This man is a racist, failing to recognize blacks in Africa are capable of solving these problems on their own. Surprised he has not been charged with hate speech.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    What obligation does the West have to Africa? None that I can think of. Besides, somebody should point out to this doctor that but for all of the medicine and aid that the West has provided to Africa, Africa’s population would be about a quarter of what it now is and the standard of living for the survivors would be significantly less. Is this mythical obligation to Africa never ending? Will there ever be any thanks or will there always just be cries of “The West doesn’t do enough” and “racism!”

    • IstvanIN

      Agreed. We should only use medicines and medical procedures developed by Whites and the African should only use medicines and medical procedures invented by blacks. Fair?

  • DaveMed

    The rather funny aspect of such antics is the tacit admission that Africans are completely incapable of any meaningful independent scientific innovation.

  • 4321realist

    “He said the international community needed to be “shamed into real commitment” to address the “poverty and environmental squalor” in which epidemics can thrive.”

    He’s lucky he doesn’t have to “shame” me in order to get his sick, do-gooderism project on track in the face of many other serious illnesses that affect millions of people, because he would have to count the effort as the biggest failure of his miserable life.

    He’s disgusting and should be set down by helicopter into the village of his choice so he can devote his life to people who hate him and contribute absolutely nothing to mankind.

    “Liberalism is a mental disorder.”

    • Rhialto

      Great idea! Take his family (if any) and supporters with him; dump them in the area that is most infected; do not allow them to leave.

  • freddy_hills

    The only program we need for ebola is closing the borders.

  • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

    The experts are working on the problem, but this idiot doesn’t appear to realize that these things don’t get finished right away. I’d start with the Reston virus. This is like Ebola and closely related to it, but does not kill people. Does injection with Reston confer immunity to Ebola? This very idea worked with cowpox as a vaccine against smallpox.

  • Bobbala

    How much would you pay for an Ebola cure? Oh! you don’t have Ebola in the US …

    • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

      We don’t eat monkeys and bats here. Us evil honkeys prefer bacon cheeseburgers. We sometimes get fat, but we don’t get Ebola.

      • Bobbala

        The demand for an Ebola “treatment” is coming even if it has to be manufactured or imported.

  • LIBERTYSINCURSION

    Oh yeah, “The West” should bend over backwards, as it already does, and come up with a cure for these people. You know, the same people who will turn right around and literally blame “The West” for it. Saying that the people helping them, US, are the ones who were actually infecting them with Ebola while pretending to try to help. These people hate us, and just like their racial kin folk who live in “The West”. They blame every and any negative thing in their lives on “The West”. And not the whole west, just the White west. I say, these people choose to live like filthy disgusting scum, and now they have to also live with the consequences of choosing to live like filthy disgusting scum! PERIOD!

  • freddy_hills

    This clown is squawking about an “epidemic” that has killed less than a 1,000 people. Meanwhile, 2,000,000 people die of malaria every year. Heck, even the common influenza virus kills between 250,000 and 500,000 worldwide every year.

    Yet pharmaceutical companies are supposed to transfer resources dedicated to researching treatments that could save hundreds of thousands of lives per year to focus more effort on a bacteria that’s killed less than 1,000????

    That guy is either an idiot or being disingenuous. Either way, I have no interest in giving billions in foreign aid that will only end up in the Swiss bank account of some tyrannical dictator or corrupt bureaucrat.

  • Chris Granzow XI

    Such nonsense. We have non-whites robbing, raping and murdering whites (even in the U.K.) and we haven’t done anything about that yet; so it’s not like we put our own people first or anything. At that, we’re sending our own citizens (doctors) over there, who are themselves getting infected with ebola trying to save people that couldn’t give a damn about them. The first ebola patient pulled down his pants and urinated on the doctor once he found out he was infected. They’re eating raw bushmeat that they know is infected. Why should we foot the bill when they’re not even taking the most basic precautions. This strain only has a fatality rate of 50-60%, not 90% like he says.

    • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4333982.stm Augur Mayson

      This lower mortality rate is bad news. Previous strains of ebola that have arisen in Africa have had 90% mortality rates. This one has mortality rates of only 50-60% like you said, and what’s more it can have an incubation period of up to three weeks before the patient shows symptoms. This one can go pandemic if it gets out of Africa. Especially with our ease of rapid airtravel now, it’s actually better if it moves fast and has a high mortality rate, in terms of limiting its geographic spread.

  • Lagerstrom

    I’ve been waiting for this. You took your time Dr Ashton.

  • Stephen Wordsworth

    If cancer killed white people wed… Oh wait maybe developing new medicines is just a little more complicated than just wishing one into existence because it effect wealthier people.

    Besides Aston is so rascist why does he assume UK white scientists will suceed where black witch doctors have failed.

  • Kit Ingoldby

    Since when is the continent of Africa a ‘minority group’?

  • scutum

    “Inequality is not the only reason for a weak market in Ebola vaccines, as the disease only afflicts a relatively small number of people worldwide.”

    I see! So now we should import Ebola into Western Democracies in the name of equality and finding a cure for it. If there is anyone on this site that doubts the insanity of Liberalism/Socialism/Communism this article should put those doubts to rest. This is the equivalent of someone in the middle ages claiming that they should import the Black Death into their country in the name of fairness and to find a cure for it. I’m telling all of you, the leadership of the Western Democracies is insane.

    • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

      If Dr. Ashton is interested in Ebola-equality, he is free to travel to west Africa himself and eat some bats and monkeys. Tell us how that works for you, John.

  • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

    Don’t they rape toddlers to cure diseases there?

  • http://www.amren.com/ Michael Christopher Scott

    Because – just guessing here – nobody has the stones to tell the Afritards to stop eating monkeys and bats.

    • Shawn_thefemale

      Or to stop reproducing when when your other 12 kids have starved to death.

      • watling

        … except that aid from Western libtards means that more of those 12 kids now survive to grow up and spread AIDS because they think safe sex and monogamy are only for killjoy whites.

  • T_Losan

    If we weren’t on the receiving end of this, the current doublethink whereby blacks are simultaneously less and more capable than whites would be fascinating.